9 - Wake Up Down There!

A young couple, very much in love, sprawled together in the back seat of an old jalopy on a deserted dirt road in the isolated back hills east of Ravenswood, West Virginia. It was a starlit, moonless night in the spring of 1967, just warm enough so the pair were able to strip to the buff comfortably.


Things were rather pleasant on that squeaky back seat until about 10:30 P.M. when a blinding bluish light poured in through the windows of the parked car.

“At first, I thought it was the police,” the young man told me later. “Then we both felt a funny tingling sensation that scared us half out of our wits. I jumped up and stared into the light. It wasn’t a flashlight or spotlight. It was more like a big ball of bluish fire hovering a couple of feet off the ground directly alongside the car. There was a funny sound, too, like a low hum.“

His girlfriend screamed, he reported, and the light seemed to back away slightly while the humming increased in volume.

“The next thing we knew,” the young man continued, “it was gone. Just like that. We jumped into our clothes and got the hell out of there. Another funny thing, when we got into town it was after 12:30. We couldn’t figure it out. It seemed like we only looked at that light for a couple of seconds. But somehow it must have taken two hours.“

Their first inclination was to run to the police but they decided against it, since they weren’t supposed to be on that road doing what they were doing in the first place. (“Her old man would’ve killed me!”)


They drove around for several minutes until their hysteria subsided and then he dropped her off at home.

The next morning both the boy and the girl woke up to find themselves heavily “sunburned” from head to foot. The boy’s eyes were almost swollen shut for two weeks afterward. It was not an easy matter for them to explain how they managed to get a total, and quite painful, sunburn at night in the early spring.

Shortly afterward he heard that I was in the area and sought me out to tell me the story. His skin was still reddish and his eyes were still bothering him when I met him.

The actinic ray burns were proof of his story. And I knew that UFOs often zero in on lovers in parked cars. Many—most—of the monster episodes in my files took place in remote lovers’ lanes. Young love has to run enough hazards without the fear of a hairy weirdo hammering on the windshield.

What concerned me was the two-hour tune lapse or spell of lacunal amnesia which apparently took place. What could have happened to the pair during that forgotten period?

The phenomenon has an almost pornographic preoccupation with our mating practices. One of it’s most celebrated games is the manipulation of romantic relationships. Early investigators of the fairy episodes, such as novelist Sir Walter Scott, noted that fairies seemed to delight in bringing people together and fostering love, or, conversely, indulging in conspiracies to force lovers apart.


The Bell witch of Tennessee is supposed to have manipulated the love life of a Bell daughter, almost tragically. Brad Steiger, one of America’s best-known investigators of the paranormal, has been involved in several poltergeist cases in which the mischievous poltergeists tried to wreck romances and marriages. (1) Nothing can quite affect a new groom’s virility like being physically hurled from his wedding bed by an unseen force and pelted with flying ashtrays thrown by invisible hands. Unbelievable though it may seem, such things do happen.


[1] Brad Steiger, Haunted Lovers (New York: Dell, 1971)

Flying saucer contactees often have their marriages disrupted, even destroyed, after they begin their liaisons with the space people. And there are many cases in which flying saucer enthusiasts have been brought together—literally hurled together—through their mutual interest.

Could it be that some people are programmed to love by this mysterious force?

A public relations officer for the United Nations, Donald Estrella, accompanied me on one of my trips to West Virginia in 1967. In those days the UN was keenly interested in the UFO enigma. Mr. U Thant, then secretary general of the organization, held private meetings with author John Fuller and Dr. J. Allen Hynek, two leading UFO authorities. The late Drew Pearson created a sensation when he revealed that Mr. Thant regarded flying saucers as second in importance after the war in Vietnam. (Thant later denied the Pearson story.)

When Don Estrella saw all the bizarre things I was investigating, things which—to his surprise—seemed to have little relevance to wonderful spaceships from another planet, he told me about three unrelated events that had happened to him over a span of several years.

“Seven or eight years ago,” he said, “I was taking a vacation trip with four friends through the New England states. We were riding in a high-powered car along a deserted country road somewhere in New Hampshire, I believe. We were going quite fast when suddenly we hit something. This was in broad daylight and it was as if we suddenly crashed into an invisible brick wall. The whole front of the car was smashed in. Luckily, none of us were hurt but we were a bit stunned. We got out and looked around. There was absolutely nothing on the road. We never could figure out what had happened.“

Experience had taught me that paranormal events are often interlaced with puzzling yet seemingly normal things like strange phone calls. Had he ever received any odd calls?

“There was one thing,” he said slowly. “About five years ago I took a train out to see a friend of mine on Long Island and when I got there he accused me of playing a hoax on him. He said he’d received a phone call about half an hour before I arrived. A voice that sounded very distant had said, ‘Hello, Don.’ My friend told him that I hadn’t arrived yet. The voice then began to recite a series of numbers meaninglessly. My friend thought it was some kind of gag and hung up.“

Finally I asked him if he had ever had any really odd encounters with peculiar strangers. He looked at me bewildered and astonished.

“There’s one that’s always bothered me. It happened around the time of that phone call thing. One night when I was walking home to my apartment I became aware of a man following me. When I looked at him, he stopped and grinned at me ... but there was an air of evil about him. I can’t pinpoint it exactly.“

“Was he possibly same kind of sex deviate?” I suggested.

“No ... I don’t think so. He was short and slight, and wore a black coat and black trousers. His face was dark and foreign-looking. I don’t know why, but that evil grin is burned into my memory.“

Don said he hurried into his apartment and never saw the man again. A mere chance encounter on a busy New York street. Perhaps.

The foolishly grinning man is a staple item in psychic lore. Black-suited with a dark complexion and craggy foreign face, he has been described to me in many places by many people.

As for strange phone calls, I have investigated so many that I am now practically a telephone engineer. They are hard to nail down because there are so many cranks, hoaxers, and “phone phreaks” out there today. But the calls that interest me most fall into patterns that exclude natural explanations.

At 8 A.M. on March 24, 1961, two women in Prospect, Oregon, a town of about three hundred people, were talking together on the phone when suddenly a strange man’s voice broke into the line and snapped, “Wake up down there!” One of the ladies regarded this as an affront and she proceeded to express a very strong opinion. The voice started to rattle on in a rapid-fire language that sounded like Spanish but the line seemed to be dead. The two women could not hear each other. After the man suddenly stopped, the line became live again.

The next day, at the same hour, the women were on the phone again, and again the strange voice interrupted with, “Wake up down there!“

This time the women listened quietly as the voice said something in the foreign language, and then it recited the numbers forty and twenty-five over and over. No one in Prospect spoke Spanish. There was no accounting for the incident.

Voices counting off meaningless numbers also cut in on TV reception in UFO flap areas. Usually people who experience this sort of thing dismiss it as police calls or the work of some Ham radio operator. They don’t realize that TV sound is broadcast on FM channels reserved for the purpose and there is little chance that a shortwave or CB (Citizen’s Band) transmission could interfere.

But the phenomenon is not always restricted to electrical apparatus. After I published a couple of pieces about it I received dozens of letters from people throughout the country recounting their own experiences. To my surprise, most of these people had heard the voices late at night, usually waking them up with a sharp command.


For example, a man in the Southwest claimed he had been jarred awake on several different nights by the sound of a deep male voice ordering,

“Wake up, number 491!” A woman in Ohio heard the voice while driving, “873.... You are 873.” And another woman in Kansas wrote, “Please tell me who these people are that keep reading numbers to me. They sound as if they are standing right next to me but there is no one there.“

Do we all have a number tattooed in our brains? Hardly. There are three billion people so some of them should be numbered 2,834,689,357. But all of the numbers that have come to my attention contain only two or three digits.

Another version of this phenomenon are the Morse code-like beeps that blast out of car radios, telephones, and TV sets when UFOs are active. On January 31, 1968, a woman in California called me long distance to tell me of a string of unusual events around her home. Her phone was “going crazy,” the house lights were flashing on and off periodically and the electricians couldn’t find the source of the problem, and other weird things were happening.


As she talked I recognized certain patterns which suggested that a repeatable experiment might be possible. So I gave her some advice which would have sounded insane to anyone overhearing the conversation. I instructed her to go outside at exactly 9 P.M. that night with a flashlight and if she saw anything in the sky to signal to it.

The next day she called me back excitedly. Her husband, who had been skeptical of the whole UFO business, had been converted, she announced, with delight. She had followed my instructions and, sure enough, at 9 P.M. that night a large orange sphere appeared directly over her home. She flashed the light three times but there was no response from the object. After a few moments it scurried off. She and her husband re-entered the house where the television was on. As soon as they entered the living room three loud, very loud beeps shot out of the TV set. Her husband was completely flabbergasted.

I have given the same crazy advice to other UFO sighters, always with similar results. Sometimes after watching an object their telephones will suddenly ring ... and there will be no one on the line.


Or their doorbells will ring by themselves.

Obviously these things are manifestations within the electro-magnetic (EM) spectrum. The voices, however, seem to come from a more mysterious super-spectrum.

In hypnosis there is a simple technique called post-hypnotic suggestion. The hypnotist can tell his subject that fifteen minutes after he comes out of his trance he will suddenly feel an impulse to climb up on a chair and crow like a rooster. When the subject is brought out of his trance he behaves normally for fifteen minutes, then he suddenly climbs onto a chair and crows. He can’t explain why he did it. It seemed like a rational action at the moment.

There is a kind of post-hypnotic suggestion involved in many UFO and psychic incidents. The witness is driving along a road late at night. He hears a beeping sound and lapses into a trance ... as if he had been preconditioned to lose consciousness at the sound of the beep. Later, he awakes to the sound of another series of beeps. Now he finds he is some distance from his original point and he’s baffled about what happened in the intervening minutes— or hours—for he can’t remember a thing.

Several variations of this hypnosis-inducing tactic occur. Some witnesses see an approaching aerial object with numbers clearly marked on it. As they study the numbers they lapse into a trance. In some cases, ancient lettering like Greek or Chinese appears on the object. The effect is the same.


Months, even years, later the same percipient may again see the same numbers or letters on an object, or even on a set of license plates or a sign, and again falls into a deep trance.

The U.S. Air Force and the CIA were blamed for the many weird telephone problems that plagued the tiny bands of UFO investigators around the country in the 1960s. They were convinced that the government was out to get them. But these things have been happening from the earliest days of the modern UFO age when, in June 1947, before the air force or the CIA were even committed to UFO investigation, pilot Kenneth Arnold was checking into the Maury Island sightings in Tacoma.


He and a fellow pilot ran their investigation from a hotel and some unidentified person repeatedly called the local newspapers and told reporters everything that was transpiring in that hotel room. Arnold tore the place apart looking for hidden microphones, but there didn’t seem to be any.

The official air force report on the sighting of a Florida scoutmaster, Sonny Desvergers, in 1952, states:

“Captain Corney [an air force intelligence officer] was asked about the facts of supposedly anonymous threatening telephone calls that Mr. Desvergers had received. He stated that Desvergers had called him approximately two weeks ago and stated that he had been receiving anonymous threatening telephone calls while at work in the establishment in which he is employed. The gist of the calls were threats telling Desvergers to lay off of his story and that if he didn’t he would be sorry and several other things.“

Witnesses to landings and low-level overflights are often singled out for harassment, even when they don’t report their sightings. Publicized contactees like Woodrow Derenberger receive the full treatment.

Like many sincere contactees, Woody decided to write a book about his experiences and, like most contactees, ended up paying for the cost of printing himself. Contactee books, and there are hundreds of them, have a very limited fringe market of only two or three thousand people, so Madison Avenue publishers understandably give them short shrift In Woody’s little effort he stated: (

[2] Woodrow W. Derenberger, with Harold W. Hubbard, Visitors from Lanulos (New York: Vantage Press, 1971).

As I write this book, I keep getting phone calls warning me to stop. They have even called my wife at her place of employment, telling her to stop me or they will. These people have also called my friends making the same threat. I have no way of knowing who these people are, yet they are calling too often to be crank calls.


Several times I have written material that has disappeared from my home.


When I leave home for any reason, I always lock all doors and windows, yet several times when we returned home, we found our home had been ransacked, drawers pulled out, papers strewn all over the floor, and valuable tapes missing, and my tape recorder broken. ... I have mailed letters, dropped personally by me in the Post Office letter box, that have failed to reach their destination.

After Woody’s contact became widely known, two gentlemen dropped into the appliance store where he worked and walked directly up to him.

“We think you know who we are, Mr. Derenberger,” they said flatly. “We’d advise you to forget all about what you’ve seen.“

They left as abruptly as they’d arrived. Woody described them as being short, stocky, dressed in black suits, and having olive complexions. For some reason he concluded the Men in Black were really from the Mafia.

No matter where he moved—and he moved several times in 1967—the phone pranksters and black Cadillacs managed to find him, he claims.

Meanwhile, his pretty young wife and their two children also met Indrid Cold and his colleagues from the planet Lanulos. Mrs. Derenberger was frightened of them and felt they were engaged in something evil. They were just like us, she told me, traveled about in ordinary automobiles, and were probably infiltrating the human race in large numbers.

Woodrow Derenberger’s story troubled me from the outset, and for many reasons. It did not fit the mold of the usual UFO contact tale. While the telepathy element was common enough, the total physicality of his experiences seemed too real. They defied easy classification and would not fit into any of the pigeonholes I had constructed. Either he was the world’s most convincing liar, and had somehow trained his wife, children, and friends to back up his lies, or he had had a very special set of experiences beyond the limits of ufology.

By March 1967 the crowds had given up in discouragement and Mr. Cold was able to safely land his spaceship on Woody’s farm. Woody went aboard, according to his story, and took a flight all the way to Brazil and back. The interior of the spaceship was disappointingly normal, with bunks and equipment of obvious terrestrial manufacture. Later that year, Derenberger would be flown to Lanulos ... a pleasant little planet where the people ran around nearly nude. Most contactees who claim to have visited other planets, and there are many, usually described a futuristic world. There was something mundane about Woody’s descriptions of that nudist colony in outer space. Too mundane.

In his later adventures, Woody usually met the spaceships in some isolated spot, often near a highway under construction—a seemingly trivial detail yet one that is most significant. Cold or one of his partners would pick Woody up in a Volkswagen and drive him to the rendezvous point.

His world was now thickly populated with space people named Kemi, Clinnel, Demo, Ardo, Kletaw, etc. They assumed real personalities and were very real to him.

But I knew that in most UFO contacts the entities use names adopted from ancient Greek and from mythology, so I was puzzled by these “fairy” names. However, many of Woody’s experiences had definite fairy tale overtones. And two of his friends had a classic fairy experience. A young man named Jim Hacket, and his cousin Daria Sartor, were out sky-watching at a place called Bogle Ridge one night when they saw a group of red, green, and white lights descend from the sky and drop into a gully close to their position.


A moment later there was a bright flash and Jim felt his face tingling, like a mild electric shock. Then he heard voices outside the car ... voices which Daria could not hear. Suddenly there was a sharp rap on the window, causing the pair to jump with alarm.


A man holding some kind of red light stood outside the car and Racket received a mental message to get out of the car.

“Is she your wife?” the man asked.

“No, she’s my cousin.“

The man told him to tell Daria to stay in the car. Then he led young Hacket off into the darkness. When he returned, his shoes, socks, and watch were missing. He said the man had taken them. It had been raining and the ground was muddy so his shoes had been coated with mud and water.

Jim and Daria visited Woody the next day and the contactee accompanied them to the same spot on Bogle Ridge that night. Indrid Cold, Karl Ardo, and Demo Hassan were waiting for them. Woody explained what happened and the spacemen said Hacket had encountered “humanoids” who were no-good thieves. He was lucky he had lost only his shoes, socks, and watch. But they would run the culprits down and recover the items, they promised.

The next morning when Jim stepped out his door to pick up his morning paper he was surprised to find his shoes, now neatly shined, sitting on the step with the laundered socks and the watch inside.

The contactee lore is filled with silly episodes like this. The entities serve as good guys and bad guys alternately. Phantom muggers can materialize out of the darkness and attack the contactee with baseball bats, only to be thwarted by the sudden arrival of the good guys who beat them up and cart off their carcasses—and the baseball bats and any other evidence.


Many of our black-suited “Silencers” are engaged in similar games.

Jim Hacket was lucky. He only lost his shoes. Elsewhere throughout the Ohio River valley, dogs, cows, and horses were dying suddenly and mysteriously, usually from surgical-like incisions in their throats. Animal disappearances and deaths go hand in hand with the UFO phenomenon. The most puzzling aspect of these deaths is the absence of blood. Often the carcasses seem drained of all blood. The wounds don’t bleed. No blood is in evidence in the grass or dirt where the victims lay.

Among my grimmer memories of 1966-67 are those times when I knelt in farm fields to examine dead animals, particularly dogs, who had suffered amazingly clean and expert cuts. These deaths were not localized, but came in nationwide waves simultaneously with UFO waves. This pattern has been repeated since.


Prior to the October 1973 flying saucer flap there was an epidemic of animal deaths throughout the Midwest from Minnesota to Mississippi, causing quite a stir in the local press.

“Two points confounding investigators have been the absence of blood and footprints,” the Kansas City Times reported, December 22, 1973. “Even on warm days, with the carcass freshly killed, there has been no bleeding on or around the animal. Some believed the cattle were drained of blood. No human tracks have been detected near each mutilation, even in fresh snow.“

In December 1973 and January 1974 there were wholesale disappearances of pet dogs from Connecticut to California. Small towns like Voluntown, Connecticut, lost a large part of their dog population in a few days. Fifteen dogs vanished from Woodstock, New York, in the Catskill Mountains during the same period. As in previous waves of animal mutilations and disappearances, authorities tried to blame witchcraft cults, cattle rustlers, and dognapers, who sell the poor animals to hospitals for experimental purposes. But the total absence of evidence of any kind seems to rule out these conventional explanations.

Europe has been plagued with phantom animal killers for generations. Sweden had a plague of this sort of thing in 1972. The extensive vampire legends of Middle Europe were undoubtedly based on such incidents. Vampires were cloaked beings, often accompanied by strange aerial lights, who could paralyze humans and animals in their tracks. As recently as twenty years ago there were a series of “vampire” killings in Yugoslavia.


Four bloodless human bodies were found with slashed throats in a field near Klek Mountain, according to one report.

As I have noted, UFOs, hairy monsters, and Mothmen all appear to have the ability to ferret out human females during their menstrual period. I began to seriously wonder if blood and flesh were not vital ingredients in the mysterious transmogrification process. Did energies from the super-spectrum need earthly biological materials to construct temporary entities? It does seem as if many UFO and monster sightings are staged as distractions, luring crowds of people to places like -the TNT area while animal mutilations and disappearances are taking place almost unnoticed only a few miles away.

Soon after the Mothman’s first appearance in November 1966, police found the body of a dog in the TNT area. It was completely charred, yet the surrounding area was un-burned. I wondered if it might not have been sacrificed in some secret magical ritual by some unknown local warlock: a ritual that brought Mothman into being?

The UFO waves of the 1960s were accompanied by the occult explosion—the rapid spread of witchcraft and magical practices. An interesting side effect of the flying saucer phenomenon is that many of the people attracted to the subject, people with very materialistic and pseudo-scientific outlooks, gradually drift into the study of psychic phenomena, abandoning the extraterrestrial theory along the way. In retrospect, flying saucers were partly responsible for the occult explosion.

The most confusing feature of the phenomenon is its use of allegorical situations and complicated diversions meant to cover up some more covert activity. Hairy monsters are seen carrying dead dogs, so people assume other missing dogs provided dinner for the smelly apparition. Actually the dogs may have served some other purpose altogether ... a purpose that might turn our hair gray instantly if we knew the full details.

In messages passed along to Italian contactee Eugenio Siragusa, the mischievous entities have tried to explain their “volumetric logic” in cosmic double-talk. Dr. Jacques Vallee has called it “metalogic,” suggesting that the entities have a logic system quite different from ours and when they try to translate things on our level their statements come out absurd.


He does not consider their need for deceit which is based upon their urge to manipulate us through beliefs and what the British call “acceptances.” Once Woodrow Derenberger accepted Indrid Cold’s existence, and the existence of Lanulos, his view of reality could be manipulated to include those beings and places.

In March 1967, a truly astonishing UFO “attack” took place in West Virginia, apparently supporting the vampiric theories I was entertaining at the time. While other UFO investigators had been collecting endless descriptions of things seen in the sky, I was out examining dead animals in remote fields, pondering the real meaning behind the bloodless carcasses.

On the night of March 5, a Red Cross Bloodmobile was traveling along Route 2, which runs parallel to the Ohio River. Beau Shertzer, twenty-one, and a young nurse had been out all day collecting human blood and now they were heading back to Huntington, West Virginia, with a van filled with fresh blood. The road was dark and cold and there was very little traffic. As they moved along a particularly deserted stretch, there was a flash in the woods on a nearby hill and a large white glow appeared.


It rose slowly into the air and flew straight for their vehicle.

“My God! What is it?” the nurse cried.

“I’m not going to stick around to find out,” Shertzer answered, pushing his foot down on the gas.

The object effortlessly swooped over the van and stayed with it. Shertzer rolled down his window and looked up. He was horrified to see some kind of arm or extension being lowered from the luminous thing cruising only a few feet above the Bloodmobile.

“It’s trying to get us!” the nurse yelled, watching another arm reach down on her side.

It looked as if the flying object was trying to wrap a pincers-like device around the vehicle. Shertzer poured on the horses but the object kept pace with them easily. Apparently they were saved by the sudden appearance of headlights from approaching traffic. As the other cars neared, the object retracted the arms and hastily flew off.

Both young people rushed to the police in a state of hysteria. The incident was mentioned briefly on a radio newscast that night but was not picked up by the newspapers.

In cases like this we have to ask: Did the UFO really intend to carry off the Bloodmobile? Or was it all a sham to “prove” the UFO’s interest in blood. Later I tried to check to find out if any Bloodmobiles had actually vanished anywhere. The Red Cross thought I was a bit nuts.

But I often found myself seriously wondering if we only hear about the people who get away!

A few nights after the remarkable Bloodmobile incident, Point Pleasant police officer Harold Harmon was making a routine patrol through the dismal, unlit TNT area when a dark object hovering a few feet above a small pond caught his eye.

“It was definitely a solid machine of some kind,” he told me later. “I could even see what appeared to be windows in it. It rocked unevenly like a boat hitting waves, and then it floated silently away over the trees.“

Another nationwide UFO wave was underway that March, but the now-jaded national news media ignored it.

Scientists from the newly commissioned Colorado University UFO project trotted around the country trying to investigate new reports while the project’s head, Dr. Edward U. Condon, complained that it was like a fire department that answered only false alarms. That spring some of the scientists spent weeks in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, area observing the “meandering nocturnal lights” that busied themselves there nightly. Their learned conclusion was that the Pennsylvanian skies were “most remarkable.“

Ships in the Atlantic were reporting huge luminous “cigars” discharging small globes of light which sailed toward New York and Long Island. And on Long Island and neighboring Connecticut, those globes were cutting nightly capers. During my frequent treks out to Long Island, I saw several of the objects myself and I collected some eyewitness testimony that boggled my already much-boggled mind.


One family of seven people swore they had seen a circular object land near a wooded area on Long Island. They stopped their car to watch and were astonished when they saw two figures, normal-human-sized beings, exit through a door in the object as a large black car crossed the field and stopped nearby. The two beings got into the car and it drove off.


The object took off quickly and disappeared into the night sky. Similar incidents had been reported in South America, France, and England, but this was the first time I had come across one in the United States. The family was terrified. They knew they should report it to someone but they kept silent until they heard me on a radio program a few days later.

Meanwhile, the Ohio valley was lit up by these things nightly, from Cairo, Illinois, in the south, where the Ohio River linked with the Mississippi, to the northernmost tip of the river in Pennsylvania.

On March 12, 1967, a woman in Letart Falls, Ohio, was driving home from church at 11:30 P.M., accompanied by her twenty-year-old daughter, when, as they rounded a corner in a wooded area, a huge white thing appeared directly in front of their car. They said it had curved wings about ten feet wide. There was a head on the creature and it appeared to have very long hair.


It was in view of their headlights for several seconds before it flew upward and vanished from sight. The witnesses were very religious and assumed they had seen an angel, or even Jesus Christ himself. After their sighting their telephone went haywire and their television was suddenly subjected to heavy interference. I found a number of UFOs had been seen in the Letart Falls area, with concentrations around a large gravel pit there.

Sightings in the Northeast were keeping me busy at that time. But I talked with Mary Hyre frequently. She was receiving more UFO reports than she could print and some other strange things were happening in Point Pleasant. Three very tall, dark-complexioned (not Negroid) men were causing the local police some consternation.


These men knocked on doors late at night, purportedly selling magazines though we couldn’t find anyone who had ordered subscriptions from them. They spoke fluent, unaccented English and were described as “good-looking” with heavily tanned skin. Their height and broadness impressed the witnesses the most. Although these men continued to appear throughout the region for a month, Mrs. Hyre and the police could not find out where they were staying.


They were always on foot. Apparently they did not have a car.

Mrs. Mabel McDaniel worked in the local unemployment office on Main Street in Point Pleasant and during the second week in March a strange man blundered into the office. He wore a black coat and black cap and behaved in a most peculiar manner.

“He didn’t look like a colored person, but still was very dark,” Mrs. McDaniel said, “and his English was so poor I never did really figure out what he wanted. His eyes were funny-looking, kind of starey and glassy. From what I could get from him, he was looking for an insurance company, only he kept saying he wanted ‘trip insurance.’“

He told her he had also visited the office of the Messenger (he did not, according to Mary). He spoke in the garbled, singsong manner of so many of our weirdo visitors and moved in an unsteady, almost drunken way.

It seemed to me that something phenomenal was building up in the Point Pleasant area. I decided to shelve my other projects and return to the Ohio valley. This time I was accompanied by Daniel Drasin, a young movie producer who was planning to do a UFO special for the Public Broadcasting Laboratories (PBL) of the educational television network.


Don Estrella also asked to go along. Both men knew very little about the UFO situation at that time, and in keeping with my habit I told them nothing. I wanted them to see for themselves the incredible scope and complexity of the thing.

So late that March our little entourage hopped into rented cars and took off on an eight-hundred-mile journey into the twilight zone.

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